Trying to Find Balance

I just realized I’m way over due for an update on our family fishing situation.  Somehow the last month has flown by in a blur, but I suppose that’s what happens when you are frantically trying to keep your head above water!  So far we have succeeded, but I’m not going to lie to you – it’s been pretty anxious around here – barely making ends meet while Zed works his tail off running our new boat.

Zed wrapped up dungeness crabbing on the Washington coast for the time being, and moved on to tendering dungeness crab in Puget Sound.  For those readers not familiar with tendering, it means that Zed is not actually fishing for crab himself, but taking deliveries of crab from smaller fishing boats, which he then delivers to the crab buyers at the end of the day.

small fishing boat tied up to the Robin Blue, delivering crab

Zed took the photo above during an eight-day crab opener for the Tulalip Indian Tribe.

Traditional Tulalip canoe rowing past the modern fishing boats

Offloading crab from the smaller boat

sorting through the crab to weed out short or soft crab

dumping ice on the crab before delivery to pacify them and make them less aggressive.

At the end of this opener, we realized Zed had a few days before the start of the next opener.  It so rarely happens that Zed has any time off, so we decided we needed to take advantage of it and get in some quality family time.  Time to go camping!  We loaded up the car with tents and sleeping bags and left the rainy cold Northwestern part of the state, crossing over the Cascade Mountains into Eastern Washington, which has a dry and warm climate.  A three-hour drive took us from Bellingham, Washington (rainy and 54 degrees) to Winthrop, Washington (sunny and 74 degrees).  We found a quiet campground by a river, threw some rocks in the water, started a campfire, cooked some hotdogs, roasted marshmallows, and fell asleep under the stars to the sounds of crickets chirping and rushing water (and the kids giggling in their own tent).

an action shot of the rock throwing marathon

The next day we took a hike along a river through a field of wild flowers and a forest that had recently burned in a forest fire.

wild flowers along the river

Larkyn and I, stomping along

crossing a creek on a log

We had a great weekend together, and it reminded us how important it is to take time away from the boat and work and just enjoy each other.  The kids are growing up so fast and it would be a tragedy if their only memories of childhood are of their tired overworked parents.  I want their childhood memories to be of throwing rocks in the river and waking up to deer in our campsite.

As we have been warned by other boat owners, and are discovering for ourselves, work on a boat is never done.  There is always something that needs fixing, or fluids to change, or rust to grind and something to paint.  It really does take over your life, but hopefully we will be able to find that balance, where we can work hard but still make time to have adventures.

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9 thoughts on “Trying to Find Balance

  1. What a neat blog. You serve a community that is so important to our region, but I think the non-commercial fishing world should know about it.

    Really enjoyed this post. Didn’t know what tendering meant. The shot of Tulalip paddlers out in their canoe was special to me as I’ve helped with the Paddler To… events. These guys could be practicing for the Paddle to Squaxin 2012. Nice contrast to the Robin Blue.

    Good luck. It was so nice meeting you yesterday.

    • Janet,
      It was great meeting you too! Thanks for checking out my blog and taking the time to leave a comment.
      Zed says he was friends with your son in school…
      Hopefully I’ll run into you again soon!
      -Robin

  2. I just love coming over to visit your blog; I always feel so calm after reading your posts. You have such a nice way of telling a story. Loved all of the pics of the tendering and the camping trip, and the new one in the sidebar of the boat and family! “Tired and overworked” parents….I know. Time for us to follow your lead and get some FUN time in as well. It doesn’t have to be huge; a nice trip across the mountains to find the sun is perfect. Let me know if you have time to get together at the end of this week; it’s supposed to be hot. (LOL–I’ll believe it when I see it!)

    • Thanks Jen!
      We don’t know how much longer Zed is going to be free so we’ve been snatching up every opportunity to do something exciting (even if we adults are tired and would rather take a nap!).
      And yes, we are free friday afternoon or saturday… let me know.
      -Robin

  3. So the Robin Blue has come along way, and that includes miles. She is now beginning to pay you back. And you and Zed and the boys had a well-earned break. Please keep the story coming. The family and the fishing pictures were great!

    What’s Zed think of tendering? Fishing for fishermen, not fish. In the mid-80s I tendered sockeye, mostly for the Lummis, off Point Roberts, with the 1918-built Bofisco. At times it was easy money, but your loose your sense of independence. And you’re caught in the middle, between the fishermen and the company!

    -Paul

    • Hi Paul,
      Yes, tendering is definitely different. It is appealing in its security, because it is a little less of a gamble than fishing, but the lack of independence is frustrating. We have already had issues with the company, but we are learning as we go. We now know how important it is to get a written contract! But we are keeping the boat busy and that is the important thing.
      I’m glad you are enjoying the blog! I saw that you started your own blog… how is that coming?
      -Robin

  4. Pingback: It is an Honor! | Hoof Beats and Foot Prints

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